Q and A – AMA AGBEZE
What motivates you to keep playing netball?
The fear of what else I should be doing! No, it’s something that I know and I have been doing for a long time. It’s safe. I also don’t want to get a proper job. I think when I started playing elsewhere in 2008, my mum would always ask me when I was going to get a proper job. She finally stopped about 5 years later and now here I am, cruising around!
Do you have a specific pre-game routine? If so, has it changed over the years?
I used to have a really specific routine where I would have to prepare all my clothes for the day, sleep a certain amount of times and eat certain things. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realised that you can’t always do that. If something does go wrong, I just deal with it, no need to stress.
Do you have a certain type of music you listen to before games?
Nothing in particular! I usually just listen to whatever the team is feeling. But I have found at the Mystics, the girls’ songs are too chilled for me! I need it to be more upbeat please. Until then I will put my headphones in and listen to my own music.
Best advice anyone ever gave you about netball?
Retire! No, I think probably people telling me to enjoy it. When you’re younger I think it’s a lot harder to understand what that means. Even as I’ve progressed through the years it hasn’t necessarily always been enjoyable, but I think Covid made me appreciate the game so much more and made me realise how blessed I am to play netball at this level. I love it.
How do you overcome pressure on game day?
I usually love to crack jokes and have fun, whenever I feel tension in the group. As much as I haven’t lately, I really want to get back into it to make sure I come out positive, have fun and smile.
What on-court goals have you set yourself for this year?
To get on the court! I really want to play just so I can prove to people that I can perform at this level so every chance I get on the court I want to get better.
Has your attitude changed going from training partner to full-time player?
I don’t think so. I think I always have the mindset of I’m going to push, whether I’m a training partner, full-time player or a ring-in. I think if you have that consistent attitude, it helps you put your best foot forward and help your team. So I’m just here to do my best, and get on to the court.
If there are any kids out there suffering from pre-game jitters, what would you tell them?
Make a joke, whether it’s good or bad hopefully it will make people laugh. As the game gets closer, I try not to think about it, I know I’ve done all the work that I can. Try distracting yourself by listening to some music, doing a puzzle or playing a game on your phone. Don’t put focus into the game until you get there!